College Basketball Odds, Pick & Preview for Arizona State vs. USC (Monday, January 24)
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Isaiah Mobley.
- The USC Trojans take on the Arizona State Sun Devils in Pac-12 college basketball action on Monday.
- The Trojans took both games last season and enter this one as double-digit favorites.
- Keg breaks down the game and shares his top betting pick below.
Arizona State vs. USC Odds
|Arizona State Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Pac-12 foes Arizona State and USC will meet for the first time this season after facing each other on two occasions last year. USC won both meetings, while the Trojans also came out on top in six of the previous 10 head-to-head encounters.
The Sun Devils have played just four games in the last month, as they had six games postponed or canceled due to COVID-19. They have also lost four of their past five games and are considerable underdogs in this matchup against USC.
The Trojans have had struggles of their own recently as well, dropping games to both Stanford and Oregon. But they also managed to bounce back with a pair of road victories over Colorado and Utah.
Arizona State had some exciting and close games last week, but after beating Utah at home, it fell short to Stanford on the road. Stanford blew a 15-point lead in the second half and the Sun Devils had a chance to secure a comeback victory, but the Cardinal held on to win the game, 79-76.
Arizona State did cover a +5.5 spread, which is the second straight time it covered, to improve to a 7-8-1 ATS record.
ASU also shot over 52.5%. But the deciding factor for the Cardinal was their ability to get to the line and take care of business when they did, racking up 32 free throws compared to just seven for the Sun Devils.
USC returned home from a two-game road trip during which it defeated Colorado and Utah.
In the latest victory over the Utes, USC seemed to dominate the game from start to finish, as the Trojans covered a 5.5-point spread without issues in the 79-67 win. The Trojans moved to 10-8 against the spread after covering the last two games.
And in its last game, USC shot 50.9% from the floor and kept opponents to 36.1% on the other end. The Trojans were better in rebounding as well, pulling down 42 compared to just 31 by the Utes. Utah’s bench did contribute more points than Trojan reserves but that did not seem to have an impact on the outcome.
Senior guard Drew Peterson led the Trojans against Utah posting a season-high 23 points and seven rebounds. Boogie Ellis added 18 points, four boards, and four assists, and Isaiah Mobley contributed 10 points, six rebounds, and five assists to the win.
Can USC show the same kind of dominance against a struggling Sun Devils team?
Sophomore guard DJ Horne leads the Sun Devils with 13.4 points per game, and Kimani Lawrence and Marcus Bagley are the only other two Sun Devils players averaging double figures.
However, Bagley is out indefinitely with a knee injury, which doesn’t help the Sun Devils.
But in their last game, Jalen Graham stepped up and contributed 16 points and six rebounds, along with Marreon Jackson, who had 12 points and five steals, Jay Heath contributed 11 points and four rebounds as well.
On offense this year, Arizona State has been less than impressive, ranking 221st in adjusted efficiency. It’s also one of the worst in effective field goal percentage, currently sitting 329th at 44.8%.
The Sun Devils rank outside the top 250 in both 3- and 2-point shooting. But there is one bright spot: They rarely turn the ball over, ranking 87th. They are turning it over on just 17.4% of plays.
On defense, things are considerably better, as the Sun Devils rank 66th in adjusted defensive efficiency. They have been able to limit opposing teams to just 68.2 points per game and have been a force around the basket, holding the opposition to just 45.3% on 2-point shots.
The Trojans are off to the best start since the 1970-71 team. Currently 16-2 on the season, it’s been a wild ride for the Trojans.
USC ranks 39th in offensive efficiency and 25th in defensive efficiency. It’s scoring 74.8 points per game and limiting opposing teams to just 63.4 per contest.
It has relied heavily on shots around the basket, where 59% of its points come from, but that’s been for good reason, as it’s hitting 2-point shots at a 52.7% clip.
On defense, the Trojans have been one of the best when it comes to limiting teams, ranking sixth in defensive effective field goal percentage. Opponents are hitting just 42.8% against USC.
Arizona State vs. USC Betting Pick
USC is the better team without a doubt, and while this is a higher spread, I don’t think it will be a problem for the Trojans.
These teams both move at a slower pace, and the Sun Devils have shown the ability to defend well around the basket. But I think the height advantage USC has will help it overcome any defensive challenges it may run into.
For that reason, I’m backing the Trojans at -13.5 and would take them as high as -15.
Pick: USC -15 or better